If you are eager to only use only credible environmentally-aware providers of courier work services, what should you look for? |
There is no single solution, but you may find some of the following recommendations to be extremely useful.
• Look for real examples to support the company’s claims. It’s easy to say that your company is an environmentally-friendly provider of services, but what does that mean? Don’t be swayed by pious statements of good intent. Insist on hard facts.
• Ask the courier work provider for examples of their fleet. It will be a good sign if they are able to offer cycle, motorcycle or even public transport services, as well as conventional vehicles. All of those methods are likely to be more environmentally friendly in courier activities than a conventional van.
• Try to understand their policy on recycling. Many companies continue to ignore this important area and simply jettison all of their recyclable waste into the standard rubbish.
• You may wish to check whether or not they are ISO accredited in terms of their green process management skills.
• Investigate the fuel systems and age of their conventional fleet vehicles. In terms of the former, practicality limitations mean that comparatively few couriers are able to use electric vehicles but many have switched to LPG, which is a far less polluting fuel source. Remember also that older vehicles, particularly those that are in apparent poor condition, are likely to be considerably more inefficient and polluting than modern vehicles.
• Be wary of voluminous, glossy and unnecessary sales materials offered up in the mail or elsewhere. Paper production, printing and chemical processes add up to a largely avoidable environmental cost. That’s true even if the material itself is recyclable.
• Consider the personal vehicles being driven by the owners, sales personnel or other executives in the company. Huge gas-guzzling company cars are not exactly a positive indication of an environmentally-aware business orientation.
• Look for automated electronic processes that govern the relationship between your potential courier work services provider and their customers. Form filling, paper delivery sheets and paper invoices or statements sent out in the mail are all unnecessary in the 21st century.
• You may wish to favour companies who are occupying refurbished city centre buildings against those who have relocated to what once was a green-field site in the suburbs in order to save money. Businesses fleeing from city centres to newly built office accommodation in the countryside are damaging both the inner-city areas they leave behind and the rural environments they’re indirectly encouraging developers to build in.
• It is worth asking for a comment on their selection and use of packaging materials. Some companies may, often unnecessarily, have a policy of using new materials every time they pack something. Try to give preference to those that guarantee to use recycled materials where practical.
• Some companies may sponsor green initiatives. Ask questions in this area and again smile favourably on those companies that do.
• There is sometimes an assumption that green business practices can’t really be applied in the courier work industry. The above all hopefully show that is not the case.
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day courier work in the express freight exchange industry. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.
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